Daily news - 15th October 2019

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UK news

Causes of hospital admission and mortality among 6683 people who use heroin: A cohort study comparing relative and absolute risks

Mortality in high-risk groups such as people who use illicit drugs is often expressed in relative terms such as standardised ratios. These measures are highest for diseases that are rare in the general population, such as hepatitis C, and may understate the importance of common long-term conditions | Science Direct, UK

Cannabis extract may work as a treatment for cannabis addiction

For people who are addicted to cannabis, one treatment option may be, paradoxically, to take pills containing an extract of cannabis | New Scientist, UK

Introduce standard units for cannabis to improve mental health

New findings suggest that introducing 'standard units' for cannabis could improve people's mental health | Medical Xpress, UK

Second-hand smoke from e-cigarettes poses NO risk to the public and banning vaping indoors in 2015 was pointless, expert suggests

There is no evidence that inhaling second-hand vape smoke poses a risk to your health, experts have claimed | Mail Online, UK

Vaping: 'I'm 17, and rarely ID'd for e-cigs'

Almost 40% of sellers targeted by councils in England have been caught illegally allowing children to buy e-cigarette products, a report has found | BBC, UK

Drug addicts in Glasgow to be offered help to cut deaths

The short-term strategy will focus on the city centre, Calton and lower Dennistoun | BBC, UK

SNP drug decriminalisation policy welcomed by Scottish Drugs Forum

Police Scotland should start right away in copying liberal moves by English forces | Daily Record, UK

Addaction Chief Executive Mike Dixon is leaving in October 2019 to take up a role at the Liberal Democrats

Mike Dixon, Chief Executive of Addaction, is leaving in October 2019 to take up the Chief Executive role at the Liberal Democrats | Addaction, UK

Drugs work earns Ron Hogg international award in policing

Ron Hogg, who announced he was stepping down as Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner in September, due to ill health, has been given the first international Sir Robert Peel Award for Excellence in Policing | Northern Echo, UK

'We can't arrest our way out of this': Cops take health approach to deal with addicts

“We can’t arrest our way out of this,” says Superintendent Gary I’Anson, who is leading an intensive, campaign to tackle soaring numbers of drug deaths in Glasgow | Evening Times, UK

Bill Turnbull backs cannabis for medicinal use ahead of cancer doc

Broadcaster Bill Turnbull says there should be a "proper conversation" in the UK about the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes | BBC, UK

Wine trade fighting for its future

A number of the UK’s leading wine companies have banded together to campaign for wine to be treated fairly in future Budget announcements. The category was singled out for punitive tax rises in 2016 and 2018, while beer, cider and spirits were given a break | DR News, UK

Tobacco Control Research Group scoops prestigious European Health Award

Bath’s TCRG was awarded the European Health Leadership Award at an event last week in Austria | University of Bath, UK

I Came to Britain to Run an Illegal Weed Grow House

Albanians are moving into the UK cannabis cultivation business in a big way. One grow house manager tells his story | VICE, UK

County lines: Girls under the radar in drug gangs

"I've had a gun held to my head in country. My friends have been stabbed in country. When you're in the countryside it's business, no one's laughing and joking. We're here to make money and not get killed." | BBC, UK

Dopeworld Discussion: An insight into the criminal underworld of drugs

Free event. London. 30th October. To mark the recent release of Dopeworld: Adventures in Drug Lands, an ex-drug dealer's foray into writing, Volteface will host a panelled discussion curated to learn more about the happenings of the criminal underworld | Volte Face, UK


International news

The vaping scare and big tobacco - audio

Why health concerns over vaping is bad for cigarette companies. In the US hundreds of illnesses and even some deaths have been linked to vaping. That's bad news for a tobacco industry looking for a long-term replacement for cigarettes | BBC, UK

What is the truth about vaping? - audio

Jamie Doward and Max Sanderson join Anushka Asthana to navigate a way through the haze of the debate around vaping. Is it really safe? | Guardian, UK

An argument for phasing out sales of cigarettes

The successes of tobacco control in some countries and locales have led to discussions of ending the tobacco epidemic, often called the ‘endgame’. In this paper, we recommend articulating the endgame goal as phasing out sales of cigarettes, a goal once called ‘unthinkable’ | BMJ, UK

NSW coroner to recommend pill testing be introduced at music festivals

Report to also recommend end to police sniffer dogs and body searches, as premier Gladys Berejiklian urged not to ‘hide from the evidence’ | Guardian, UK

Drugs investigators close in on Asian 'El Chapo' at centre of vast meth ring

Avast drugs Asian drugs syndicate, which is wealthy, disciplined and less violent than Latin America’s cartels has become the prime target of a sprawling, previously unreported counter-narcotics operation, according to a new Reuters investigation | Telegraph, UK

Clondalkin Drug & Alcohol Task Force: Invitation to Tender - Research

CDATF is seeking tenders from suitable, qualified and experienced researchers to identify new and emerging patterns of drug use among young people (12 – 21 years) and the exploration of the ‘naturalisation’ of involvement in drug use and the drugs economy for young people | Active Link, Ireland

Health Officials Urge Caution in Reducing Opioids for Pain Patients

In a newly published guide, federal health officials say doctors “should never abandon” pain patients and warn of acute withdrawal and other risks | NYTimes, USA

HHS Announces Guide for Appropriate Tapering or Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Use

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a new Guide for Clinicians on the Appropriate Dosage Reduction or Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Analgesics - PDF. Individual patients, as well as the health of the public, benefit when opioids are prescribed only when the benefit of using opioids outweighs the risks | HHS.gov, USA

E-Cigarettes Went Unchecked in 10 Years of F.D.A. Inaction

A decade after Congress gave the F.D.A. the power to regulate tobacco products like e-cigarettes, the federal government has repeatedly delayed or weakened efforts that could have protected teenagers | NYTimes, USA

Congress Wants Answers on Who Sent Millions of Pro-Vaping Posts From Bot Accounts

The House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Massachusetts attorney general’s office are investigating exactly who spammed millions of bot posts promoting e-cigarettes while downplaying or misleading viewers on its effects on human health | Gizmodo, USA

Non-nicotine e-cigarette liquids in Australia

Our report provides information about the identity and known hazards of chemicals available for vaping. However, there isn’t enough information available about the inhalation toxicity of these chemicals to conclusively assess their health risks | NICNAS, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 94: Extinguish Rebellion

here is a new tobacco harm reduction (THR) activist group that has started up called ETHRA – European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates, currently with fifteen partners - https://twitter.com/europethra. This is the latest THR advocacy group following in the footsteps of groups now spanning the globe, in Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, India, Canada, USA, Asia and Africa, as well as other European-based organisations and the international agency INNCO | NSP blog, UK

The drug death crisis Nicola Sturgeon must solve - and why Scottish Government needs to act now, writes Peter Smith

While Scotland’s First Minster is fighting Brexit and championing Scottish independence on the world stage, at home there has been the emergence of a drug death crisis | ITV, UK

When myths are more dangerous than reality: The falsehood of naloxone-induced aggression and assault

Recently, a passenger on a Delta flight died from an apparent overdose, sparking widespread media attention, with coverage attributing the death to a lack of naloxone on board | EMS1, USA

Canada needs an Alcohol Act to address the damage caused by this deadly carcinogen

With the opioid overdose crisis, concern about teens using electronic cigarettes and our fascination with the legalization of cannabis, our most dangerous legal drug continues to be ignored by Canadian policy-makers | Conversation, Canada